Dr Mu provided the following abstract for this event:
"Social reality, according to Pierre Bourdieu, exists in relations. Social agents, children included, venture into differentiating social fields such as education configured with positional advantage vis-à-vis positional disadvantage. Much Bourdieu-informed research grapples with the structural forces behind the positional disadvantage of certain child populations. Yet the sole focus on the deficient life circumstances of children has mostly been to justify their existing vulnerability. This deficit model once drew my work into the mire. It was the life strengths of rural-to-urban floating children in China and children with diverse backgrounds in Australia that emancipated my work from child pathology. These children, similar to the “invincible” young people in Emmy Werner’s longitudinal study, delve into a journey of resilience that powerfully transforms risks into opportunities.
"In this presentation, I first provide a panoramic overview of my research with floating children in China that prompted me to study resilience. I then discuss resilience from a multi-disciplinary perspective and construe resilience as a highly contentious human construct. To extend these existing schools, I sociologise resilience through Bourdieu. Resilience thus construed is not merely an adaptive strategy in context of adversity but also a critical epistemology to probe the structural constraints behind adversity. I present part of my multi-year resilience research with Australian children, which leads to the Multi-Rs Resilience Model composed of Reconciliation, Recalcitrance, Retreat, Redirection, Reconstruction, and Reflexivity. I conclude the presentation with an invitation to rethink child and youth resilience sociologically for the purpose of educational change and reconsider Bourdieu as a theorist of social transformation."
Dr Michael Mu is Principal Research Fellow and Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology. His current project is funded by the Australian Research Council ($418,489.94, 2018-2022) and is concerned with culture, class, and resilience. Michael has published five scholarly books and over 50 scholarly papers including journal articles and book chapters. Over 65% of his journal articles appear in Q1 journals.
As a sociologist of education, Michael has developed three areas of research expertise: building resilience in (im)migration and multicultural contexts; negotiating Chineseness in diasporic contexts; and developing teacher professionalism in inclusive education contexts. To grapple with the research problems emerging from the aforementioned three areas, Michael draws on theories of sociology of education (e.g., Bourdieu’s reflexive and relational sociology) as well as mixed methods and quantitative approaches (e.g., social network analysis, structural equation modelling, factor analysis, path analysis, process analysis, Multiple Correspondence Analysis).
Michael is the Coordinator of Research Master’s Programs in QUT’s Faculty of Education. He is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education; an editorial board member for the prestigious Chinese journal of 北京师范大学学报 [Journal of Beijing Normal University]; and an invited panelist of the Rapid Review Program of the journal of Educational Philosophy and Theory. In addition to his editorial roles, Michael reviews numerous scholarly journals. Before taking the position at QUT, Michael was a school teacher, a lecturer at Beijing Normal University in China, and a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Calgary in Canada.